Vakakis career honored with prestigious Drucker Award

3/6/2023 Julia Park

Professor Alex Vakakis won the Grainger College of Engineering Tau Beta Pi Daniel C. Drucker Eminent Faculty Award for his career-long contributions to his field.

Written by Julia Park

Alexander VakakisProfessor Alex Vakakis was named this year’s winner of the Tau Beta Pi Daniel C. Drucker Eminent Faculty Award from The Grainger College of Engineering. This marks the second time in three years that faculty from MechSE have been recognized with this competitive award.

The award recognizes faculty who have received acclaim for dedication to academic excellence through teaching and research and have made exemplary contributions to the understanding of their fields. It demonstrates the ideals of Daniel C. Drucker, dean of the College of Engineering at Illinois from 1968 to 1984. A recognized scholar in the field of applied mechanics and materials, Dean Drucker's pursuit of scholarly excellence had great influence on the faculty and students of the college. He worked with and supported many programs of Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society.

Over the past three decades Vakakis has been a leader and an eminent scholar in nonlinear dynamics, vibrations, and acoustics, changing the way engineers perceive, exploit, implement, and benefit from nonlinear phenomena. Based on his main research breakthroughs – the concepts of nonlinear normal modes, nonlinear targeted energy transfer and intentional utilization of strong nonlinearity in engineering, he changed the paradigm of employing nonlinearity in engineering design.

Vakakis will be formally recognized at the college’s Faculty Awards Ceremony on April 24.

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This story was published March 6, 2023.